Chairman Peter Staples opened the second Open Meeting of the season which was also the “Ray Coggan Memorial Meeting” in memory of a former member and officer who made an outstanding personal contribution to the life of the Forum in many capacities. A warm welcome was extended to the nine lady guests in the audience and four apologies had been offered prior to the meeting.

John Taylor Programme Secretary gave the attendees a short pen picture of Ray Coggan and also advised about the St. Michael’s Hospice acknowledgement of our Christmas Charitable Donation which had been addressed and sent to Harrogate Men’s Forum!! John also gave a plug for Hampsthwaite Village Society’s showing of the film “Eddie The Eagle” this weekend.

Today saw the return of Mr Alun Pugh, now an established and regular Speaker with us, who was to complete the second part of his “A Journey Along The Leeds- Liverpool Canal”. Alun started with a brief resume of his first part Journey and commenced the second part of his talk today at Chorley in Lancashire. We were taken along the canal towpath to places such as Blackburn, Burnley, Barrowford Locks, Gargrave, Skipton and finishing at Kirkstall in Leeds. As he and his companion Martin transversed the Canal on bicycle and sometimes foot with the occasional lift from a barge various hostelries were visited, beer brands examined and sampled in detail and menu’s compared particularly those involving cooked breakfasts!! Interspersed amongst the amusing anecdotes and asides was historical information and  examples of architecture found on the route as well as advising of the original purpose of the Canal and Bridges to transport both non-perishable and perishable goods and also people. Lancashire dominoes , leggers and the colour coded mating habits of rams were other facts shared with the audience. Backed up by a sizeable slide show the morning passed in a thoroughly interesting, informative and highly entertaining manner, much appreciated by those in attendance with comments and questions following the conclusion of the talk.

The Vote Of Thanks was given by Neil Ramshaw on behalf of the 36 members and 9 lady guests.



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